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New Year's Day Worship Resources
Prayers, Sermons, Children's Messages

Scriptures for New Year's Day

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Psalm 8
Revelation 21:1-6a
Matthew 25:31-46

New Year's Prayer

Dear Lord, in this new year please give us . . .

. . A few friends who understand us and yet remain our friends.
. . A work which has real value, without which the world would feel the poorer.
. . A mind unafraid to travel the journey ahead of us, even though the trail be not blazed. .
. . An understanding heart and a sense of humor.
. . Time for quiet, silent meditations and a sense of your assuring presence.
. . And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come.


Children's Messages:   

Sermon Excerpt:

Another New Year
Ecclesiastes 1: 1-11 and Luke 2:41-50
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

[ Click for Scripture Readings ]

Do you sometimes feel like Kohelet, the writer of Ecclesiastes?

Does it ever seem to you like your life is caught in a never-ending cycle? You get up in the morning, as you always do, you get to your work, or to school, only to do what you always do. After you're done with one project, there will already be the next one waiting for you. After finishing a term paper there will be already another one to write.

In Greek mythology there is a story about Sisyphus whom the gods appointed to spend his entire life to roll a heavy boulder up a mountain only to roll it over the cliff, and start the process all over again. I think we all face times where we feel like Sisyphus or the writer of Ecclesiastes. When we feel like an insignificant little cog in the machinery of society. In the end nothing really changes; none of what we do or say matters, none of it makes a lasting difference.

The question at the root of Kohelets musings is an existential human one that asks at one.  We want to know if our lives really make a difference on this planet. Does it really matter how we live? Does our toil, our care, our service really matter? Or will it not make a difference? Will one generation come after the other repeating the mistakes of the previous generations? Is there an ultimate reason and purpose for your and my existence in this world?  Is there a purpose for my life?

So, here we are at the beginning of a new year again.  Interesting how the existential question of purpose in life seems to be raised just by the mere fact of the calendar turning. . . .

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